Shaun Creighton

Partner Director
Practice areas
Corporate and commercial law
Intellectual property law
Technology law
Government
Healthcare
NFPs and NGOs
Service industries
Sport and events
Start-ups and innovation
Technology, media and telecoms

Shaun Creighton is a partner director at Moulis Legal. He leads Moulis Legal’s intellectual property, commercial and government procurement practice.

Consistent with the commercial+international philosophy of the firm, Shaun has practiced for over a decade in assisting clients identify, protect and commercialise their valuable intellectual property rights in Australia and internationally.

He has acted for some of Australia’s best known brands across a number of industries including information communications and technology, biotechnology, broadcasting, health, sport and wine. His brand protection and commercialisation services have encompassed securing Australian and international trade mark rights (registration and defence), certification of trade marks and shape trade marks, and the drafting and negotiation of commercial and IP rights agreements. These include international distribution agreements, trade mark licences, content supply agreements, product supply agreements, sponsorship agreements, joint venture agreements and franchise agreements.

Shaun represents ICT companies in their B2B and B2C transactions. This includes end user licence agreements, teaming agreements such as re-seller agreements and strategic alliance arrangements, and consumer and privacy law compliance. For start-up ventures, he is experienced in drafting founder agreements, securing IP rights in one or more jurisdictions, drafting terms of supply, and advising on regulatory compliance.

Shaun has extensive government procurement experience and expertise, especially in the ICT area, having been Senior Legal Counsel at Airservices Australia for more than eight years. In that capacity Shaun has handled contracts for the supply, installation and maintenance of complex radar systems, telecommunications systems, software (including software as a service) and hardware. He has a strong working knowledge of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules which is critical for representing the public and private sectors alike in major government-related transactions.

Shaun also adds to the sports law, governance and administration credentials of Moulis Legal, and counts many national sporting organisations, professional sporting teams, athletes and organisers of sporting events amongst his list of valued clients. He has been in-house legal counsel with the Australian Sports Commission, Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation and the Melbourne Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. Shaun is a former Director of Athletics Australia, the Canberra International Film Festival and the ACT Olympic Council. He was the President of the ACT Olympians Club from 2008 to 2012, has been a National Track & Field Selector since 2012, and is currently the Chairman of the Physical Activity Foundation.

Prior to studying law, Shaun was a professional track and field athlete. He competed for Australia in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games and still holds the Australian 3,000m Steeplechase record. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (2002), and has a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property (2008). In addition to being a specialist intellectual property lawyer, Shaun is a registered Trade Marks Attorney.

Outside of work, Shaun can be found trying to combine his interests in sport, events and wine, but not necessarily all at the same time.

Knowledge pieces by Shaun Creighton
Is a $50 million penalty fair? It may be if your contracts are unfair.

Australian Consumer Law will soon extend the application of the unfair contract terms regime.  Significantly, Courts will have the power to impose substantial penalties where a standard form contract includes unfair terms.

Sports technology, law and regulation - the battle of the super shoe

The tide in the Battle of the Supershoe race may have turned. Wearing a pair of latest Adidas road racing shoe at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa beat the standing record of 2 hours 14 minutes, by more than 2 minutes, leading commentators to speculate as to how a well-established world record could be broken by such a large margin.

Missed by that much - consequences of error by official

A recent goal umpire error means the Adelaide Crows will not be playing finals football this year, leading to questions on whether the result should stand, or if the Crows should be entitled to compensation from the AFL as a result of a mishap effectively ending their season. 

Meta decision: a 2-billion-dollar lesson in privacy laws

Transferring data (especially personal information) between group companies is vital for allowing businesses to identify and target existing customers and potential new markets. However, as the record fine recently levied on Meta Platforms (parent company of Facebook) shows, safely navigating the regulatory landscape can require caution and diligence.

Should small businesses be exempt from privacy laws?

In the Attorney-General’s recent report on proposed amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Small Business Exemption has come under scrutiny. Is it now time for Australia to extend privacy regulation to all businesses?

Rights and wrongs: rights protection programs at major events

The golden decade of hosting major events in Australia commenced in 2022. Between 2022 and 2032, Australia will host major sporting events of Major Championship, World Cup or World Championship status in sports ranging from cricket, football and rugby union, to road cycling and cross country running.

Greater protection needed in Australian privacy laws

The Attorney General has published his long awaited review of the Australian Privacy Act 1988.

Bots v Lawyers – how AI is going to change the business of law

The latest development in AI (or “deep-learning”) models is ChatGPT, a chatbot whose responses to natural language prompts are so detailed and articulate that anyone who’s used it is probably wondering whether their job is now at risk.

Serious privacy breaches – The latest stats and how you can protect your organisation

A general lack of clarity has led to poor levels of compliance, and many Australian businesses have got used to treating customer information as an asset rather than a liability”. Moulis Legal’s special counsel, Graeme Fearon, provides an insight into the most interesting current trends on data breaches.

Consequences of the Optus data breach

The Optus data breach of September 2022 is possibly the largest to have ever affected Australia consumers.

The future of blockchain technology - is there life after Apes?

Blockchain technology (aka “distributed ledger technology”, aka “DLT”) is a game-changer, with implications for all aspects of society and commerce. Digital assets secured on a blockchain are quick, cheap and efficient to process, while also being “smart”, secure and traceable.

DAOs – running a business on a blockchain

Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are one of the more intriguing applications of distributed ledger technology (aka ‘blockchain’). They are self-regulating organisations comprising members linked on a blockchain through NFTs and smart contracts which serve as a digital constitution.

Environmental impact of blockchain - NFTs and the environment Pt 2

As blockchain use-cases such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have surged in popularity over the last few years, serious concerns have been raised about the energy and resources required to maintain and use them.

Australian legal first - Moulis Legal offers advice via blockchain

Moulis Legal is excited to announce a legal first for Australia. On the back of our work with a number of trailblazing blockchain projects, our technology law team has embraced distributed-ledger technology and is offering our legal services in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Crypto-cons

As we have previously discussed, there is significant interplay between blockchain technologies and intellectual property law. In an earlier article we suggested that, although non-fungible token (NFT) and crypto technology is new and fast-moving, existing laws are well-placed to clearly identify and enforce rights and obligations in this space.

Domain names direct

A good domain name is a critical part of any modern business identity. Although there is an almost limitless supply of domain names, all of which perform the same function (i.e. identifying online resources), some are definitely more desirable than others.

Unintentional doping in sports law cases clarified

The World Anti-Doping Code (WADA Code) has traditionally applied the legal principle of strict liability to anti-doping rule violations. Sanctioning of athletes by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) may take into account factors which could be considered unintentional doping.

Domain names and the Olympics

The recent announcement that Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympics is an exciting opportunity not just for Queensland but for the whole of Australia. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘Brisbane’ was one of the top five trending Google searches on the day of the announcement.

NFTs – are they bad for the environment?

In recent years, blockchains have been accused of imposing an unsupportable burden on the environment. The energy needed to operate Bitcoin alone has been compared to the national requirements of a small country.

Red flags and red cards - challenging an on-field decision

Sporting events need officials to umpire/referee the competition. Inevitably, not everyone will agree with all decisions made by these officials. From professional football codes to the local sporting field, there are ‘controversial’ decisions made every weekend around the globe.

Olympic fever risks (other than COVID-19)

Within the same week, the Tokyo Olympic Games finally got underway after a 12-month delay, and Brisbane were awarded the rights to host the 2032 Olympic Games. Olympic fever (often called five ring fever) is in full flight.

Terminating a contract – when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em

It was reported on 11 January 2020 that the Professional Golf Association (PGA) of America has terminated its contract with a Trump Organisation relating to the hosting of the 2022 PGA Championships at a golf course owned by a Trump Organisation.

Watch this space: Hamilton trade mark does not belong to Lewis

The name ‘Hamilton’ means a lot of things to a lot of people. To F1 motor racing fans, it clearly is a reference to British racing car driver Lewis Hamilton. For watch aficionados, it may be a reference to watch company Hamilton International, which was founded in 1892 and subsequently acquired by Swiss watch maker Swatch Group. 

Checking out data protection and privacy in Check-In CBR app

As Australia starts to ease out of COVID lockdown, the ACT Government has announced that the capital’s cafes, restaurants and bars can begin to welcome more customers, provided they sign up to the Territory’s bespoke Check In CBR app. 

Flower thrower trade mark thrown out

The famously anonymous street artist Banksy has lost a legal challenge concerning one of his best-known works, “Love is in the Air”, also known as “The Flower Thrower”. Full Colour Black, a UK greetings card business, successfully contested Bansky’s application to register the painting as a trade mark, in a case which neatly highlights the differences between trade mark rights and copyright.

Unauthorised use of music in political campaigns – the “trump card” may be moral rights

It has recently been reported that Tom Petty’s family have issued a cease and desist warning aimed at preventing the US President Donald Trump from using Tom Petty songs at or in conjunction with presidential campaign events.

Parties go nuts over trade dress

The lid has been lifted on intellectual property rights associated with peanut butter trade dress and branding. This interesting trade dress case sees Kraft all dressed up with no place to go, other than an appeal to the High Court. 

Taking the fun out of fundraising

In the wake of the 2019/20 Australian Bushfire crisis, comedian Celeste Barber took to Facebook to launch her NSW RFS bushfire fundraiser, with the intention and constant reassurance that the funds would be going to those victims who needed it most. 

Defending a stairway to heaven

Led Zeppelin band members and fans were relieved when a recent decision of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals preserved the jury verdict that the Led Zeppelin iconic rock song “Stairway to Heaven” did not infringe the copyright of the Spirit song, “Taurus” (the Stairway to Heaven case).

Victoria Beckham’s trade mark dispute – cosmetic or froth and bubbles?

If you are at a trivia night, and the question is “what product in Australia is well known with reference to the initials ‘VB’”, there is a reasonable chance a lot of people would answer “Victoria Bitter” beer. Victoria Bitter is well known in Australia simply with reference to “VB”.

When ‘game on’ becomes ‘games off’

March 2020 should have been a big month in Australian sports and events. The NRL and AFL seasons were due to begin, the Formula 1 Grand Prix returned to Melbourne, and a number of sports were to conduct their trials for the 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Green shoots to plant breeder’s rights

Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBRs) are generally not as well-known as other forms of intellectual property rights such as patents, trade marks, copyright and designs. A recent Federal Court order highlights the benefits and protections of PBRs as an important intellectual property right. 

Six again – when the rub of the green doesn’t go your way

Those watching the recent National Rugby League Grand Final staged in Sydney on the weekend saw that the rub of the green did not go the way of Canberra’s “Green Machine”.

Information security – make your own rules

Reports last week about the hacking of the political think-tank Lowy Institute and of the question-and-answer website Quora were met with different responses by the affected parties. Reportedly, the Lowy Institute declined to comment, citing a policy of not doing so on security matters. 

Moulis Legal announces new appointment

Moulis Legal is pleased to announce the appointment of Warren Wong as patent and trade marks attorney, based in our Canberra Office.

The weakest link – supply chain security and the role of compliance in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity, like money, is one of those things that become screamingly important when there is a lack of it. Compliance is widely recognised to be a critical component of cybersecurity. This article considers how an in-house counsel and other legal practitioners can support a corporate client in pursuit of better compliance in cybersecurity.

When you can’t let the dogs out – agreements that bite

Des Hasler was sacked as coach of the Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League team on 19 September 2017. In April 2017 it was reported that Hasler and the Bulldogs had agreed to a two year extension to Hasler’s coaching contract. Or did they?

SEO and IP – grabbing eyeballs using someone else’s good looks

Making sure your business can be found easily on the World Wide Web is big business. Search engines like Google are constantly changing who they put first, second, third, and one millionth in their search results. How high a business ranks depends on how it attracts the attention of Google’s algorithms.

Honesty in social media – industry rules will influence legal standards

In social media, it is sometimes hard to work out whether information about a product or service is genuinely the opinion of a third party, or whether it has been encouraged or positioned by an undisclosed advertiser. 

How to take over the world… with your trade mark

Our clients are often surprised to learn that their registered Australian trade marks do not apply in other countries. However, like other forms of registered intellectual property rights, it’s true – trade marks are only registered on a per country basis.